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Protein that boosts body’s immunity against cancer discovered

New Delhi, June 15: A team of researchers has discovered a protein which can also play a critical role in the immune system’s defence against cancer. Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland found TIMP-1, a protein traditionally known to prevent damage to the body’s cells and tissues. They discovered this protein also has a key role in the body’s immunity against cancer, a finding which can improve the effectiveness of current cancer treatments.

TIMP-1 protein is produced by dendritic cells, which are responsible for initiating immune responses and boosting the immune system’s ability to recognise and destroy cancer cells. Researcher Carlos Rogerio Figueiredo from the University of Turku said for patients deficient in TIMP-1 expression, our discovery helps create rational therapeutic innovations. Figueiredo added that the findings are also relevant for fighting infections by viruses and bacteria, as the process is part of a universal mechanism that fights microorganisms and cancer in a similar fashion.

The study was published in the journal Genes & Immunity, which is part of the Nature Portfolio series. The study used samples from the Finnish Auria Biobank for clinical-oriented discoveries, which were further validated with the latest biochemical and immunological tools to propose a new molecular view of how the body fights cancer.

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